« Hors norme » – Ben Vautier
Nearly a month ago, on Monday afternoon, my dad picked me up from school, and said he had a surprise for me. I couldn’t have any clue besides « take your camera ».
We drove to the city center, we parked the car, and we walked to a regular building. Until this moment, everything looked like real life. But from the time the front door of the building opened, it started looking like a dream.
When we entered the building, on the first ground, I immediately saw, in the doorframe, an amazing Moya painting, just above my head. I understood right away that we were in the right place.
And the door opened. And I discovered a mustachioed little man, big smile, giant glasses and small grey cap put on his head. It was Jean Ferrero. Photographer, galerist, collector and, first of all, the friend of a huge number of artists.
We entered the appartement. The walls were covered with huge painted words by Ben Vautier, a Calder art piece was hanging down from the selling, the room was invaded by hundreds of african masks. Sometimes we could see a César drawing left on the floor like a random piece of paper, stacked artworks of Warhol… paintings that are worth millions !
I was so impressed. I couldn’t move, I was so scared to break something. Everything seemed so precious in there. But to him, it seemed normal. Like it was a part of the landscape.
That’s what was amazing. Jean was acting like none of this mattered. Like he grew up with all these masterpieces. Like he doesn’t notice them anymore.
He had this uncommon detachment that makes him so funny and interesting at the same time.
He had all these old photographs of artists (that were and still are his friends) that he took many years ago. But he also showed me dozens of pictures that he took with his tiny phone of sunsets, people in the street, landscapes…
Anyway, it was a really great meeting. Thanks, Jean.